Drivers brace for hike in gas prices

NOW: Drivers brace for hike in gas prices


WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Tensions in the Middle East could be felt at the gas pumps here at home Friday, Jan. 3.

Patrick DeHaan, an oil and gas expert with GasBuddy, says prices could begin to rise as early as this weekend in some places.

Uncertainty hovers over the Middle East's oil supplies after the U.S. airstrike Thursday in Iraq.

"The fact that Iran could disrupt any flow of oil anywhere conceivably is what's driving prices higher," DeHaan said.

Crude oil has jumped up to its highest price since September, when Iran attacked oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

DeHaan says in the short-term, the price of a gallon should only go up five to ten cents.

The long-term depends on how Iran responds to the airstrike.

"Say they retaliate in April, then three dollars a gallon is possible in Milwaukee for Memorial Day Weekend," DeHaan said.

He added that even though the U.S. gets most of its oil from Canada, the global market is all connected, and drivers are at its mercy.

"Consumers get a little bit of the raw end of it," DeHaan said. "Really all they can do is shop around for stations that are offering a lower price."

Driving safely is a way to save money, because drivers who avoid slamming on the brakes and the gas use less fuel.

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